In Nov. 2014, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers settled on a series of privacy principles designed to make Americans more comfortable with vehicle technology.
This agreement will go into effect Jan. 2016, which means that there are still at least two years left in which information collected from your vehicle could be up for grabs. From little black boxes to data collected by OnStar, how automakers, use, store and protect this information is questionable.
The agreement by two of the industry’s biggest trade groups outlines steps that need to be taken such as updating owners manuals and what auto manufacturers will have to do to inform car buyers of what data is being collected. Some manufacturers intend to set up websites that inform users of the data collection and that link directly to the privacy polices of third-party commercial partners such as Google or OpenTable.
However, one question that has not been answered is how long car manufacturers should hang on to consumer information before it is deleted from their logs. The failure to delete logs in a timely fashion leaves greater opportunities for abuse of such information. Additionally, such data can sometimes be used by an auto accident lawyer to build, or tear down, a lawsuit.
Furthermore, what happens when a vehicle is sold privately, how does the information get changed and how long will the old owners information stay in the manufacturers logs?
Some auto manufacturers are considering creating a private driving mode that would turn off driver tracking, but this still leaves many questions unanswered.
For now, newer models will continue to mine information and the future of data collection remains in the hands of auto manufacturers and the public’s feedback in how their information is gathered and stored.